Richard III Was A Heavy Drinker

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Not only do we now know that Richard III did, indeed, have a twisted spine, but a study of his remains indicates that the last years of his life showed a marked increase in consumption of wine and exotics foods such as “swan, crane, heron and egret.” The study appears in The Journal of Archaeological [Read More...]

Vox: Pope Francis Calls For New Crusade

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This is Max Fisher: Max may be (and this is not at all hyperbole) the dumbest man on the planet. (And that’s a title with some serious competition.) He works for Vox, which is your first clue. And he wrote this for Vox, which is your second clue: So, Max is going with the whole “Pope Calls For [Read More...]

After 1600 Years, Monks Ejected From Mar Behnam by Islamists

Monastry of St Behnan ad Sarah at Iraq

The Mar Behnam Monastery (The Monastery of the Martyrs Saint Behnam and his Sister Sarah) was built in the 4th century as an act of penance by Sennacherib II. The Assyrian king had Behnam and Sarah, his son and daughter, executed for converting to Christianity, but later converted and repented. From that time until this month, the [Read More...]

How to Know You’re Middle-Aged

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H/T Boydell & Brewer For those who don’t get #5.  [Read more...]

Incredibly Beautiful: The Prayer Book of Claude de France

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The Morgan Library has put up a digital facsimile of this tiny prayer book, along with an excellent illustrated lecture on its significance. The book is a companion to the Book of Hours, and is less than 3″x2.5″  in size with dazzling illuminations.  The Morgan describes this recent aquisition as a tiny, jewel-like manuscript that [Read More...]

Pentacycles

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From our Failed Inventions files: pentacycles, designed for mailmen in 1882. I can’t understand why they didn’t catch on. [Read more...]

The Round Book: Codex Rotundus

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Coming from Bruges at the end of the 15th century, the Codex Rotundus is a 266-page miniature Book of Hours in Latin and French. The pages are only 9cm across.   [Read more...]

David McCullough’s 5 (And More) Lessons For History Students

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Great stuff from a fine writer and historian. I just finished McCullough’s 1776, and it’s everything popular history should be: vivid, gripping, detailed, and with a sharply defined sense of people, place, and incident. “Don’t do boring.” Good advice! [Read more...]


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